I have a short attention span. There, I said it. Admitting it is the first step, right? It most likely explains why I have an extremely difficult time giving a TV series my full focus and attention. I tend to stick to film instead; you’re in, you’re out, it’s done. However, the below list of TV series are not only captivating, but well-written, well-received, and did a fantastic job of representing strong, diverse, queer women.
The L Word, 2004-2009
The L Word originally premiered on Showtime back in 2004 and queer women rejoiced! The series followed a group of queer women living, working, and dating in Los Angeles. The L Word was my lesbian bible. Looking back, sure, the show was full of flaws, but in a time when there was little to no content readily available, The L Word brought generations of women from different backgrounds and walks of life together to share in something special and unique, and for that, I will always be grateful.
The L Word: Generation Q, 2019-Present
The L Word: Generation Q could not have come at a better time. Since the conclusion of its predecessor, ten years prior, we were starving for new queer content. Enter Generation Q. The L Word came back, better than ever. With a new show-runner and a cast of more diverse women and men, Generation Q proved to be enthralling and entertaining. The genius behind the concept is that we still have the familiarity of fan favorites, Bette, Alice, and Shane, but are introduced to new faces which also bring in a new audience.
Orange Is The New Black, 2013-2019
OITNB made me think I wanted to go to prison… That is until I realized that it was merely a show that glamorized and severely downplayed the struggle and hardships faced in prison, especially by women. Nonetheless, the series follows Piper Chapman, a 30 something woman engaged to be married, who is suddenly and quite unexpectedly extradited for a crime she committed 10 years prior for her former girlfriend. Through her eyes, we are whisked into a minimum-security female prison where we meet a diverse group of women, many of which are queer.
Gentleman Jack, 2019-Present
Gentleman Jack caught my attention after I watched the film, The Secret Diaries of Miss Anne Lister, back in 2010. The series follows the true story of Anne Lister, a landowner who detailed, in a secret code, her dalliances with women. Anne Lister was the truest epitome of a badass woman. She dressed how she wanted, she talked how she wanted, and she refused to succumb to the social norms of the time.
The Wilds, 2020-Present
The Wilds follows a diverse group of teenage girls who become stranded on an island after the plane carrying them to an all-girls resort crashes. The show is original, angsty, and shares the perspective of a group of girls, who although come from various walks of life, share similar struggles, heartbreak, and resentment towards life. Each character is likable and relatable in some way, but what makes it even better is that one of the main characters, Toni, is openly queer.
Wentworth, often dubbed the Australian OITNB, is gritty, raw, honest, and most importantly, includes women with incredible accents. Wentworth shows the more realistic side of life behind bars. The series follows Bea Smith, a woman who is sent to prison after attempting to murder her abusive husband. She is befriended by a group of women led by Top Dog (Australian prison lingo for HBIC), Frankie, an openly queer woman. While Bea identifies as heterosexual upon entering the prison, in later seasons, she falls in love with a new inmate, Allie.